pkofman

Engine driven fuel pump failure today.... very scary and lucky! Help please

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Very important

So today i went out to plane and started it . Everything seemed perfect until  I did my run up... all seemed good. But then the engine just  quit. I put the boost pump on and the engine restarted. The it quit again....!

If the engine did not stop i would never have known that i had a problem

I stopped the plane to find out that fuel was pouring out the cowl flap. I would not have seen that or even known about that if i was in sitting in the plane.

Now under another thread last week i asked about a flickering low fuel pressure gauge .

Maybe that  was the start of the problem or the first indication.

And i suppose we all have different experiences but this  is one i do not wish to repeat. But i actually dont know how you could know you had this problem

I got out of the plane to find the gas flowing out of the cowling.

I got the  plane was operating I have no idea whether this plane would have had the power to take off  with a failed engine driven fuel pump or  if i would have  hit the high boost while "on the roll"/ would it have had the power to take off 

I just dont know if i missed an indication of  pending doom or not.

last week i reported a very tiny ficker in the  fuel gauge needle and discussed it here . Most thought it was normal.

I had no fuel stain on the ground  when i pulled the plane from the hangar and i did not have any hint of this issue.

The mechanic pulled the cowling and confirmed that fuel was flowing from the engine driven fuel pump and the feeling is that when the fuel pump fails that it will just spit out gas and even more gas if  you turn on the high boost pump

Thank goodness i caught this on the ground. I had no indication and the only way i would know if i had a problem was if i saw fuel leaking ( not possible I'm in the plane ) or a zero fuel indication. 

Very scary 

Thoughts.   Peter

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You have a rotary engine pump correct? A few AD's come to mind as well as garloc seal failures. I have not seen a rotary pump failure yet. Did a hardline crack? I have seen failures of the hardlines failing at the fittings at the pump. Enough to change ones from alumnium to steel. 

Let us know what you find.

-Matt

 

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Hi Matt. I will follow up and ask them to take some pics and advise findings. I did not sleep well last thinking about what would have happened if the engine had not quit at run up!

 

 

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The good news is that a new one only costs about $3,000US plus about an hour installation.  Just had mine replaced a few months ago.  The diaphram that doesn't stop the engine failed and fuel was coming out one of the rubber tubes in the front.  It was spotted by my Avionics guy as I taxied up.  I have a feeling I had flown all the way across the country with it like that after my tank reseal.  Somehow there should be a light that indicates a failure other than the obvious--the engine quits.

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3 hours ago, donkaye said:

The good news is that a new one only costs about $3,000US plus about an hour installation.  Just had mine replaced a few months ago.  The diaphram that doesn't stop the engine failed and fuel was coming out one of the rubber tubes in the front.  It was spotted by my Avionics guy as I taxied up.  I have a feeling I had flown all the way across the country with it like that after my tank reseal.  Somehow there should be a light that indicates a failure other than the obvious--the engine quits.

HI Don . Everything seemed perfectly normal on run-up and then the engine quit! That was it for me as i did not understand what was going on . I restarted and things got messy with a rough engine, big mag drops  and backfires. Then fuel pouring out the cowl flaps.. Not sure if the plane would have flown but i  obviously did not fly ( btw....just as the landings were getting smooth!!!) . My shop is going to rebuild it rather  than a brand new one which would be about $5000.00 CDN! Any thoughts on new vs rebuild?

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As a side note while the cowling is off I would have them seriously inspect the exhaust system with a finetooth comb, especially if you've had backfires.

On my first annual we discovered an exhaust crack. The tailpipe needed to be replaced.

593bf781dd62b_exhaustcrackN134JF.jpg.a4a2146a16b14584901c958d2a14f0c6.jpg

 

Make sure your shop knows about the V-clamps on the exhaust on the Bravo as well. They can only be re-torqued twice before they need to be replaced at $500+ each (piper has the cheapest prices on the clamps). An exhaust failure on the Bravo means that the 1600 degree exhaust goes through the firewall and burns up the airplane and its occupants. There has been one person that has survived this with an off field landing after take-off (see .pdf below). The other three that I have heard of all resulted in the death of all occupants. Not to scare you, but the exhaust has to be right on this airplane.

N101PB NTSB report Bravo Engine logbook.pdf

 

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Thanks for the detail.  How has your ownership experience gone - are you still happy with the bravo vs the ovation?  

At the end of the accident report you posted there is a list contributing factors - have these issues been addressed with design improvements etc?

Contributing factors in the accident were the inadequate design of the plastic brake line in the cockpit adjacent to the firewall by the airplane manufacturer, and the inadequate certification of the airplane by the FAA for failure to take into account radiant heat when designing components aft of the firewall.

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On 6/10/2017 at 9:42 AM, rpcc said:

Thanks for the detail.  How has your ownership experience gone - are you still happy with the bravo vs the ovation?  

At the end of the accident report you posted there is a list contributing factors - have these issues been addressed with design improvements etc?

Contributing factors in the accident were the inadequate design of the plastic brake line in the cockpit adjacent to the firewall by the airplane manufacturer, and the inadequate certification of the airplane by the FAA for failure to take into account radiant heat when designing components aft of the firewall.

I like the climb performance of the M better than the R once you get past 10,000 ft.

There is a 2004 Airworthiness Directive (http://mooney.free.fr/Mooney SB SI/283a.pdf) on the Turbo Clamp which was the failure in that fire. The clamps were improved so that they were now riveted together instead of spot-welded and the maximum re-torques is now two on the clamp before it has to be replaced with a new clamp. The A. D. also addresses the plastic brake line and heat shield for the firewall. 

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It's in a service bulletin....install a ss heat shield and reroute brake line 

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13 minutes ago, thinwing said:

It's in a service bulletin....install a ss heat shield and reroute brake line 

I edited my post to include the Service Bulletin.

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On 6/8/2017 at 6:28 PM, pkofman said:

Very important

So today i went out to plane and started it . Everything seemed perfect until  I did my run up... all seemed good. But then the engine just  quit. I put the boost pump on and the engine restarted. The it quit again....!

If the engine did not stop i would never have known that i had a problem

I stopped the plane to find out that fuel was pouring out the cowl flap. I would not have seen that or even known about that if i was in sitting in the plane.

Now under another thread last week i asked about a flickering low fuel pressure gauge .

Maybe that  was the start of the problem or the first indication.

And i suppose we all have different experiences but this  is one i do not wish to repeat. But i actually dont know how you could know you had this problem

I got out of the plane to find the gas flowing out of the cowling.

I got the  plane was operating I have no idea whether this plane would have had the power to take off  with a failed engine driven fuel pump or  if i would have  hit the high boost while "on the roll"/ would it have had the power to take off 

I just dont know if i missed an indication of  pending doom or not.

last week i reported a very tiny ficker in the  fuel gauge needle and discussed it here . Most thought it was normal.

I had no fuel stain on the ground  when i pulled the plane from the hangar and i did not have any hint of this issue.

The mechanic pulled the cowling and confirmed that fuel was flowing from the engine driven fuel pump and the feeling is that when the fuel pump fails that it will just spit out gas and even more gas if  you turn on the high boost pump

Thank goodness i caught this on the ground. I had no indication and the only way i would know if i had a problem was if i saw fuel leaking ( not possible I'm in the plane ) or a zero fuel indication. 

Very scary 

Thoughts.   Peter

Peter

Not an uncommon issue w the TLS/Bravo

Best to have someone look for fuel running out of the one of the two rubber hoses that extend thru the front lower cowl on co pilots side very near the cowl flap, while engine is running. If it is dripping or running out of one of those tubes, your fuel pump most likely has an issue.

The cost you quoted is high!

Check Quality for an exchange unit of $1295.00 IF they have one on the shelf.

http://www.qaa.com/products/aircraft-fuel-pumps-1/lear-romec-fuel-pumps/RG17980U-M-lear-romec-fuel-pump

 

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Thank you for the advice. I had the pump repaired , I will ask the shop that did it to report back but there were actually two leaks in the unit. 

Hopefully this info helped someone else who might find themselves in the same situation

Thank you  Pete

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